STOCKS FALL: Here's what you need to know

Australia’s Maddison Keeney at the final of the Women’s 3m Springboard at the 2015 FINA/NVA Diving World Series in Dubai. Warren Little/Getty Images

The Australian market closed weaker for the third session in a row, with banking and industrial stocks dragging on the market.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,908.40 -38.15 (-0.64%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,877.30 -38.94 (-0.66%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.7608 -0.0019 (-0.24%)

In the US, the S&P 500 index gained 0.2%.

On the local market, eight out of ten sectors were lower. Mining and energy were the only bright areas as stocks followed commodity prices higher.

BHP closed up 1.34% to $29.51 and Rio Tinto 1.58% to $55.83. Pure play iron ore producer Fortescue was up 4% at one stage but closed at $1.85, up 1.09%. Origin Energy gained 2.23% to $12.39.

The major banks all lost more than 1%, led by Westpac at $38.92, down 1.62%.

The top stories Wednesday:

1. Woodside Petroleum’s March quarter sales dropped 20.1% to $US1,408 billion, following global prices down. The result was on weaker production. Its shares closed up 0.45% to $35.41.

2. Copper miner Panaust has rejected a second $1.1 billion takeover bid from Chinese state-owned resources company Guangdong Rising Assets Management.

3. Iron ore blues. BC Iron will follow Atlas in mines if necessary. And there’s a report that Atlas Iron’s lenders are pushing for voluntary administration.

4. The budget is coming. Consumer sentiment collapsed 3.2% to 96.2, according to the Westpac Melbourne Institute survey for April.

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